Schools and roads hit as floods strike

By Connie Osborne Friday 23 November 2012 Updated: 23/11 17:00

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Buy photos » This footpath near the River Arrow was submerged by flood water. (s)

PEOPLE were left trapped in their cars, schools were shut and roads closed after torrential downpours battered the borough.

Over half of the average rainfall for November fell in the area on Wednesday and Thursday (November 21 and 22) causing flooding and disruption.

Fire crews were called to more than 20 incidents across Worcestershire, including reports of someone trapped in shallow water on Astwood Lane just after 1pm on Wednesday and flooding which had affected the electrics at a property in Prospect Road North.

Feckenham was one of the worst affected areas, where an elderly man had to rescued from his car in Astwood Lane about 10.30am on Wednesday after water levels rose up to the registration plate on his car. A farmer helped him out of the vehicle and towed it to safety.

Feckenham First School was also closed on Wednesday due to safety fears about surrounding roads after several drivers became stranded.

Jane Bray, who owns Aunty Jane's nursery on Astwood Lane, said water had come all the way up her drive.

"At first we didn't think it was going to be that bad but then we heard the bank was going to burst. Next thing we knew water was coming up the driveway. I had to phone all the parents and tell them they needed to get their children. People were wading through the water to get to their cars."

She added people had been stuck on Swansbrook Lane with one woman having to stand on the roof of her car.

"My son Carl had to help three people out with his truck. One woman and her son had got stuck right in the middle of the road by the school."

Another resident said: "It was coming down like a river. We were trying to slow the traffic down because people were driving past the house and causing tidal waves of water to come onto the drive."

Worcestershire County Council closed a number of roads including Holloway Lane in Redditch, Icknield Street by the junction of Primrose Hill in Alvechurch and Fox Hill Lane, also in the village, after nearly 2ft of water swept over the road causing vehicles to cut out as motorists attempted to drive through.

Police were called to Claybrook Drive about 1pm after reports drivers were having difficulty getting through up to 18 inches of water, while Studley High School pupils were sent home yesterday (Thursday) due to flooding.

A spokesman for the Met Office said over 29mm of rain fell on Wednesday while another 20mm was predicted to fall yesterday (Thursday) along with winds of up to 70mph.

The average total rainfall for November is 65.1mm. More severe weather is expected on Sunday (November 25).

Station commander Alan Haley, from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, urged drivers to be careful driving through flood water.

"It is impossible to see how deep the water is or whether there are hazards under the water which could damage your car and leave you stranded. It’s advisable to leave any non-essential travel until any flooding has subsided."

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